Barnes, Crawford and Tooley honored with weekly OVC awards

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Each of them played critical roles in Tennessee Tech’s stunning 35-24 comeback victory Saturday over Jacksonville State, and on Sunday seniors Cass Barnes and Jocques Crawford, and sophomore Richmond Tooley earned weekly honors from the Ohio Valley Conference.

Barnes was named co-Offensive Player of the Week and Tooley was voted the Defensive Player of the Week. Crawford earned Newcomer of the Week honors.

Barnes, a 6-2 quarterback from Tullahoma, Tenn., led a phenomenal fourth quarter offensive explosion as Tech scored 28 straight points to upset the fourth-ranked Gamecocks. In the fourth quarter alone, Barnes was 10-for-11 for 215 yards passing and rushed six times for 49 yards, accounting for 264 yards of offense in the final 13:40.
 
With his team trailing 24-7, Barnes led Tech on four scoring drives including long marches of 80, 84 and 88 yards. For the game, Barnes had 359 yards of total offense. He was 19-for-28 for 271 passing yards and one touchdown, and rushed 18 times for a net 88 yards. The starting signal-called for his third straight game, Barnes actually gained 115 yards on the ground but was sacked twice and lost 27 of those yards.

While Barnes was moving the offense, Tooley was heading up a defensive effort that shut down the high-powered Gamecocks in the final period. A 5-11 cornerback from Memphis, Tooley made a career-high 11 tackles, broke up four passes and added 1.5 tackles-for-loss.

After JSU had gone up 24-7 early in the fourth, Tooley and the Tech defense limited the Gamecocks to just 37 yards of total offense through the final 13:40 and handed the ball back to the offense four times. Tooley knocked down pass attempts on the final two JSU possessions, including a fourth down try that snuffed any Gamecock comeback hopes.

While Barnes was moving the team through the air, Crawford, a 6-1 runningback from Memphis, provided the muscle to Tech’s offense in the fourth quarter comeback. For the game, Crawford had 14 carries for 54 yards and charged into the end zone three times, including twice in the final 12 minutes.

Crawford scored on a five-yard run in the second quarter for Tech’s first touchdown. In the fourth quarter, he crashed in from seven yards to begin the comeback and make it 24-14. His third TD was a four-yard effort with 1:46 remaining to eliminate the Gamecocks’ last-minute hopes and give the Golden Eagles their 11-point lead.

Murray State quarterback Casey Brockman shared the Offensive award with Barnes, while Eastern Kentucky’s Jeremy Caldwell was chosen the Special Teams Player of the Week.